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Dead reboots tell no tales: Margot Robbie's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' film sinks to Davy Jones' Locker
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of Development Hell.
Two years back, it was reported that Margot Robbie was reuniting with Birds of Prey screenwriter, Christina Hodson, for a female-led reboot of Disney's multi-billion dollar Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. During an interview earlier this year, series producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed the existence of two scripts — one with Robbie and one without. Based on fresh comments made by Robbie, however, it sounds like the Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood star will not be sailing out for a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas.
“We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led — not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story — which we thought would’ve been really cool, but I guess they don’t want to do it,” Robbie remarked during a recent sit-down with Vanity Fair.
The Mouse House has been trying to revamp the lucrative property for several years now. Despite becoming the fan favorite face of the Pirates brand, Johnny Depp was fired as the bumbling, rum-swigging Jack Sparrow following allegations of domestic abuse made by the actor's ex-wife, Amber Heard. This public scandal also resulted in Depp being removed as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from the most recent Fantastic Beasts movie at Warner Bros. (Mads Mikkelsen was cast in the villainous role not long after).
“My feeling was that these characters should be able to have their proper goodbye,” Depp said of Sparrow during the anti-defamation lawsuit he brought against his ex-wife (he ended up winning the legal action, with Heard being ordered to pay $15 million in damages). “There’s a way to end a franchise like that … I planned on continuing until it was time to stop.”
Based on the classic theme park attraction of the same name, the Pirates of the Caribbean film series spans five blockbuster titles — the first three of which (Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, and At World's End) were helmed by Gore Verbinski. The next two sequels (On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales) were directed by Rob Marshall and the duo of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, respectively.
In total, all five movies have brought in over $4 billion at the worldwide box office, so it's no wonder why Disney would like to churn out more entries for the silver screen. Over the last several years, a number of screenwriters — including Deadpool alums, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and Chernobyl mastermind, Craig Mazin — have come and gone, unable to unfurl the sails of a new chapter.
Looking for a seaworthy adventure to lift your spirits? Battleship is now streaming on Peacock.